If you’re planning on visiting Paris, you surely know that it’s a beautiful, magical and worldwide famous city. However, it’s also important to note that Paris remains a rather small and crowded city and not the cheapest of destinations. Paris has a lot to offer: the Eiffel Tower, the national symbol, the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame, the Opera Garnier, the Pantheon, the Haussmann boulevard, the Lafayette Galleries, and many other beautiful spots that are hard to visit in less than a few days. One essential element of traveling is good accommodation: this article shares with you all the tips for finding the best place to stay in Paris, based on location, price, transportation and so you can visit all the must-sees!
Tips to find the best accommodation in Paris
Where to stay for a reasonable price?
One of the cheapest accommodation options in Paris is hostels. When staying in one, we recommend you:
- Research it: look for ratings and guests’ reviews, website and social media, and location to see if it’s worth the stay. You can also check the services provided, to see if the hostel offers free wifi or breakfast which will help you save!
- Pack accordingly: when staying in hostels, you need to pack light and bring only your essentials, because you won’t have much personal space. We recommend you also pack a lock for your bag or a locker that could be provided, as well as earplugs and an adaptor.
- Be conscious of others: hostels are an accommodation in which you are in close contact with others, and have to adapt and act accordingly. Be careful to also respect the hostel’s rules and be a pleasant guest.
Airbnbs, apartment rentals, and guesthouses
Renting an Airbnb or an apartment is a great way to have authentic accommodation all for yourself, and you can save a lot if you travel in groups.
Just like for hostels, try and research before the location, the reviews, the host, and the services provided such as Wifi or washing machine. Don’t hesitate to communicate with the host if you have any questions, and determine a clear check-in process (arrival time, keys pick-up, etc).
When staying in an apartment, remember it is someone else’s house: be respectful, as you’d like others to respect your own home. However, always plan on having another option on hand, in case anything happens with the host or the place.
If you stay at a guesthouse, don’t hesitate to take advantage of the personal experience: try and chat with the host, who can share some insider tips about life in Paris!
For a hotel stay, after researching location, services, and reviews, try and check the size of the room: it often appears bigger in photos and you have to make sure it fits your needs.
Research and understand the additional services: hotels will often, if not always, offer you transportation from the airport, breakfast, or even tours, but these might not be included in the original price and be charged extra.
Finally, just like with guesthouses, take the time to chat with the staff: they will very likely all be French and even Parisian, so they can share many insider tips with you!
What are the best areas for accommodation?
The Latin Quarter
The city of love attracts many couples with its many beautiful and charming corners: around the Seine, the historical monuments, the parks and gardens, the little shops and restaurants…
You can find some good deals to enjoy a romantic getaway in Paris for a few days: the Latin Quarter is the ideal neighborhood, as it is close to the Marais, Notre-Dame, the Louvre, the Panthéon, the Luxembourg park…
The Latin Quarter is located in the 5th and 6th arrondissements, and it allows you to easily visit the city while staying in a nice and authentic neighborhood full of students.
The Marais is a small neighborhood located in Paris’ city center: it might not be the most affordable area, but it is very walkable and full of great restaurants, shops, and museums. It also has vibrant nightlife!
Montmartre is a historical, artistic, and picturesque neighborhood located in the 18th arrondissement. You can easily get to Pigalle, Abbesses, the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, the Moulin Rouge, and many other unique places.
It is located in the north of Paris, so be aware that you’ll need to take public transport or walk to visit other areas. It is also rather hilly, so it will make you work on your cardio!
The Canal Saint-Martin is a neighborhood in the 10th arrondissement, quickly gaining in popularity. It has a vibrant, lively, and young atmosphere, with affordable accommodation options and cute streets. From there, you’ll have easy access to the rest of the city.
Bastille is a neighborhood located in the 11th arrondissement: it is full of history as it saw the peak of the French Revolution. Nowadays, it is a mix of history and modernity, rather calm and trendy. You’ll find affordable accommodations and excellent restaurants, cafés, and bars.
Belleville is in the 20th arrondissement, located further away from the city center. However, it is a big multicultural neighborhood, affordable with a growing trendiness and great nightlife, music scene, street art, parks, cultural events, and restaurants.
Use the public transport network!
Paris’ extensive and very well-orchestrated public transportation system allows easy mobility in and between the city and its suburbs. You can get very quickly to all the places you want to visit.
Using the public transportation system, you can stay in nice areas located further away from the city center but from which you can get around very easily.
Paris’ public transportation network includes the metro, buses, and RER, which are trains linking the city to the suburbs. Understanding and using this network will help you save a lot. Here are some tips about getting around Paris.
Tips from a local
- Most Parisians don’t use taxis, which are not cost-effective. If they own a car, they don’t use it to get around the city, which is not really designed for traffic.
- You can rent a bike, either from a shop or from the city, which is called “Vélib”. Vélibs are free for the first 30 minutes, and you can rent them as much as you want. Be aware of traffic when biking in Paris.
- For public transport, use tickets. You can get some at any station. Be aware that you have to validate your ticket when going in and also going out, so don’t throw it away before going out. You’ll need only one ticket for a whole trip, even when commuting. If you get controlled and can’t present a validated ticket, you can get a fine.
- Be aware that Paris is divided into several areas, so you’ll need special tickets for going out of Paris, to Versailles or Disneyland for example.
- Buy a pass that’s convenient for your trip: you can get a pass for several days and several areas, it depends on what you planned on visiting but it can be more cost-effective than single tickets. Consider the Paris Visite Pass or Navigo Pass.
- Don’t hesitate to use a map or apps such as Google Maps or Citymapper that offer you the best route.
- Be aware of Paris’ rush hour: public transportation is very crowded and uncomfortable around 8 AM in the morning and 6 PM in the evening.
- Parisians can get very annoyed if you don’t respect basic standing in public transport: don’t play loud music or talk loudly with others or on the phone, don’t throw garbage outside trash cans, and give up your seat to people who need it.
Some other general tips to find accommodation that works for Paris
Paris’ off-season is around January to March, and then October and November. You’ll need to pack some warm and waterproof clothes for the weather and plan many indoor activities.
You can look for off-season discounts that many accommodations have, and always search for cultural events made for the locals. However, be aware that off-season often means that some places can have different opening hours.
Start planning early and determine your budget
When traveling to Paris, try to always plan with anticipation. These tips will ensure a smooth experience:
- Determining a budget and planning an itinerary will help guide you during your whole trip, regarding visits, accommodations, restaurants, and so on. You can decide on what you want to see, spend on, and save on before traveling.
- Book your accommodation early, for availability and cheaper deals.
- Research the transportation in Paris so you understand it best when you get there: this way you won’t have to lose time figuring it out!
- Research events that will be available during your trip, and try to learn some words of French for getting around easier!
Read travelers’ reviews
We said it several times already, but whenever you find something to do, a place to visit, an accommodation, or a restaurant, try and find travelers’ reviews. This way, you can get a general idea of the experience at the place you’re planning on visiting, and avoid getting bad surprises!
As you can see, there are many tips for finding the best accommodation in Paris, and that generally include understanding the city in its global functioning. If you plan well, Paris is definitely worth the hype!
When using Trazler, you can get the smoothest booking experience for your trip to Paris. Our website allows you to book your accommodation, plane, train, or bus tickets, and car rentals all on the same page, with the best deals.
We hope you have a lovely time in Paris, with great accommodation, and that you really get the magical experience this city is all about!